A question for disabled people, parents, carers: Do you need the TAC approach?
This article is as a short introduction to the TAC approach. TAC began at the turn of the millennium and has been taken up in many parts of the world. When disabled people, parents and carers know what TAC is they will know whether they need it or not.
If you feel you are getting the support you need, then read no further. But if the various parts of the support you are getting seem disorganised and unconnected and if you feel you (or your child or the person you are caring for) are not treated as a whole person, then TAC might be what is needed.
The TAC approach requires the professionals who are most closely involved around the disabled person to get together regularly in small face-to-face meetings to share observations, tell each other what they are doing, discuss current issues, agree what the needs are and write a single unified action plan. This plan will last until the next TAC meeting and then will be modified.
TAC is empowering. For a baby or young child, the parent must be part of the TAC meeting. Older children, disabled adults and elderly people are present in their TACs and helped, if necessary, to be involved. This fits the 'Nothing about us without us' appeal. TAC meetings have to be just a handful of people so they are not like intimidating case conferences.
You can see that TAC is not a new education programme, treatment or therapy. It just requires the professionals who are already helping agree to work closely together in the best interest of the disabled person, family and carers.
TAC is usually necessary when a disabled baby, child, teenager, adult or elderly person is being supported by professionals from various services at the same time. It is equally relevant when a disabled person moves between one service and another, for example between hospital and care home or from school to adult services.
The approach at the disabled person's TAC meeting is to consider all aspects of needs and provision and then to agree the best possible plan of action. Each plan will be unique because each disabled person, family and carer is unique.
If you think TAC is what you need, please get in touch. I can send you more information about TAC and will try to suggest ways forward.
It can be very powerful when a group of disabled people, parents or carers get together to press for improved local provision.
You might find this book helpful: Horizontal Teamwork in a Vertical World: Exploring interagency collaboration and people empowerment.
By Peter Limbrick, 2012.